Personal Injury

I Was Injured after I Fell Down a Staircase at My Friend’s House — Is My Friend Liable for My Injuries?

This particular case would fall under premises liability, a section of law that discusses a property owner’s responsibility to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition. Since nothing can ever be perfectly safe, premises liability only holds owners responsible for accidents caused by hazardous conditions.The “reasonably safe” idea is very important in your case. If the stairs were sturdy and well-maintained, but you simply lost your balance or forgot to turn on a light before descending a dark staircase, your friend would not be responsible for your injuries. A good rule of thumb is that if a person using a standard level of caution would not have hurt themselves descending the same staircase, you probably do not have a case.

Another consideration is how you descended the staircase. Premises liability also holds a visitor to some responsibility to use the property in a “normal” manner. If you were acting carelessly or used the staircase for other than its intended use, such as sliding down the banister, your friend could not reasonably be expected to prevent injury to you.

If you descended the staircase in a normal manner and were using a level of caution that anyone else would use, and the handrail broke—causing you to fall—your friend may be liable. If your friend knew about the handrail being in poor condition and had reasonable time to fix it, and yet failed to do so, he or she may be liable for your injuries. If your friend does not own the house and is a renter, both your friend and the landlord could be liable.

If you have been hurt on someone else’s property and you think that you may have a premises liability injury case, our attorneys can help you decide what your next step should be. For more information, fill out our online contact form or click on the live chat feature now!


How Long to I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim?

An accident of any kind can be traumatic. Your injuries and your recovery consume much of your time. Meanwhile, your medical bills and household expenses are piling up, and you are worried about how you will support your family when you are unable to work. The whole thing feels completely overwhelming.The accident wasn’t your fault, and you know you should take action to hold the at-fault party responsible for your bills, but you don’t feel able to take on another task right now. Is there a time limit to file a personal injury claim?

You Can’t Wait too Long

The amount of time you have to file a personal injury claim is called the statute of limitations. In North Carolina, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is three years, meaning that an injured victim has three years from the date of the injury to file a personal injury lawsuit. After that, you may be unable to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost time at work, and pain and suffering.

Let Us Help You

Your health is the most important thing right now, and you have your hands full with your recovery. However, we may be able to take the legal burden from your shoulders, negotiating with insurance companies on your behalf or filing a personal injury lawsuit to obtain the compensation you need and deserve. However, it is important to act now while evidence is fresh, witnesses are readily available, and your case can be prepared and filed well before the statute of limitations runs out.

Are you ready to get started? Download your free copy of our important guide, How to Hire a Lawyer: Avoid the 7 Pitfalls Which Can Wreck Your Case!, to learn how to go about hiring the right lawyer for your personal injury case. Then, when you are ready, contact our office in the way that is easiest for you—by phone at 919-229-8359, using our easy online contact form, or by starting a live chat—to schedule a complimentary case evaluation.


Should I Post Updates on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram about My Injuries or Case?

Many people like to share their highs and lows on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. So when you were hurt in a car accident, one of the first things you did was share the news on Facebook.

You know this is the fastest way to update your family and friends of any news, so it was only natural for you take this route. Now you’re considering keeping them updated about how you are healing and any updates on your case through social media, but should you? How can posting about your injuries affect your case?

Social Media Posts Can Hurt You

The defense attorney will do all he can to disprove your claims and hurt your character, including digging through your social media accounts. Following these social media tips could prevent you from losing your case:

  • Avoid commenting on how you feel following the crash. Posting a comment such as “I was just in a car crash, but am OK,” may help your friends and family feel better, but could hurt you in the long run. You may feel fine immediately following the crash, but your injuries could appear a few days down the road. An attorney could claim that since you said you weren’t hurt before, that you are now lying about your injuries.

  • Never say how you are feeling better. Injuries are difficult to predict and sometimes, just as you think you’re starting to feel better, things can take a turn for the worse. An innocent post about a day free of pain or how you were able to put weight on your leg for the first time since the crash could make the judge believe you are lying about your progress.

Have Questions? We’re Here to Help

If you are uncertain of what you should post on your account, contact the attorneys of Maurer Law. We are here to answer your questions and help you with your case.

Contact us today through our online chat feature, by filling out our online form, or giving us a call.


Can I Still Win My Case if I Have a Pre-Existing Injury?

Yes. Whether your car wreck or slip and fall accident occurred in the Raleigh Durham area or anywhere else in North Carolina for that matter, you can still win your case if you had similar injuries before the accident occurred. There is only one requirement: you MUST be honest about the prior injury or condition. This means you must tell your medical providers, and, equally important, you must tell your personal injury attorney.There is nothing worse than being in the middle of a lawsuit only to have the defense dig up records of prior injuries or similar complaints from years ago which the client did not disclose because they thought it would hurt their case. Ironically, the only thing that hurts the case is not disclosing it. “Oh, geez, I forgot about that” is not going to go very far. In fact, it will likely destroy your case unless there is a very good reason for not disclosing the accident, injury, condition, and/or medical provider who treated you for it.

In some ways having prior similar injuries actually helps your case. How? Because you are what is known as an “eggshell” plaintiff. That means that because of your prior similar injury or condition, you are especially susceptible to new injury and it does not take much for that injury to occur. For example, typically low speed impact car accidents with minimal property damage are not taken seriously by the insurance adjusters because they know that a jury would ultimately be thinking that there is no way someone could be hurt in a wreck with no real damage.

But if a person is especially susceptible to injury because they were already in bad shape, it is much easier for an adjuster and a jury to understand how a person was injured. Of course, to do that effectively, it takes an experienced Raleigh personal injury attorney to present your case the right way to the insurance adjuster (and the jury as well if your case goes to trial).

It is very common for a person to sustain an aggravation of a prior injury or condition in an accident. It is especially helpful to your case if you can show that you had gone some period of time (the longer the better) without any real continued complaints or maybe your injuries even resolved completely. On the other end of the spectrum, if you were actively treating for the same injury at the time of the accident, then it will be harder to convince anyone that the accident did anything to make it worse.

The key to these cases, other than honesty and candor from the injured person, is how well we can show a difference in the pre vs. post accident condition. In other words, how exactly did the accident make things worse? Documentation is everything, so make sure you are clear with all medical providers exactly how the accident aggravated your prior injury or condition.

At Maurer Law, we handle all types of injury and accident cases. Attorney Mike Maurer is a board certified civil trial specialist who previously worked for insurance companies defending personal injury claims. If you would like a free consultation, give Maurer Law a call today at 919-229-8359.